April 19, 2024, 3:24 am

Mobile phone subscribers nearly back to pre-pandemic level

  • Update Time : Thursday, October 8, 2020
  • 325 Time View

The number of mobile phone subscribers in Bangladesh almost returned to the pre-Covid-19 level in August, signalling the strengthening of the economic recovery underway from the devastating crisis.

The number of mobile phone subscribers stood at 16.60 crore in August which is almost close to the February level when it was 16.61 crore, data from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) showed yesterday.

August’s figure is also the highest among that of the last six months and 2.12 per cent up from that of the same month a year ago.

Grameenphone, the largest mobile phone operator in the country, had 7.7 crore mobile phone subscribers as of August, up 1.45 per cent from 7.59 crore in February and 1.85 per cent from 7.56 crore in August last year.

Second-placed Robi Axiata had 4.98 crore subscribers in August, which was 0.40 per cent higher from 4.96 crore in February and 4.18 per cent higher from 4.78 crore in August in 2019.

Banglalink and state-run Teletalk are yet to fully recoup from the pandemic’s detrimental effects.

Banglalink had 3.46 crore subscribers in August, down from 3.58 crore in February and 3.48 crore in August last year.

Teletalk had 46.55 lakh mobile phone subscribers in August this year, down 4.47 per cent from 48.73 lakh in February. It was, however, up 6.10 per cent from 43.87 lakh in August last year, the highest year-on-year growth among all operators.

Since the lifting of the nationwide shutdown, life has started returning to normalcy. As a result, economic activities have resumed gradually, said Taimur Rahman, chief corporate and regulatory affairs officer of Banglalink.

“The industry is also trying to cope with the situation, which is a good sign. We are still assessing the effects of the pandemic and trying to provide customers with the digital facilities that can truly cater to their needs under the existing circumstances.”

The total number of internet subscribers rose 8.3 per cent to an all-time high of 10.82 crore at the end of August compared to February’s 9.99 crore, as people have become dependent on the internet to perform many tasks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Year-on-year, it climbed 10.3 per cent in comparison to August last year when the number stood at 9.81 crore, the BTRC data showed.

Internet usage is dominated by mobile internet.

In August, 9.96 crore subscribers were accessing the internet through mobile phones, while the rest 85.71 lakh through internet service providers and public switched telephone network operators.

The number of people using the internet on their mobile phones rose 5.7 per cent in August compared to February. It rose more than 8 per cent year-on-year in August.

The number of broadband internet users surged 50 per cent to 85.71 lakh in August compared to February when it was 57.43 lakh. It was 57.35 lakh in August last year.

The consumption of broadband internet rose from about 1,500 gigabytes before the pandemic to about 1,750 gigabytes, said MA Hakim, president of the Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh earlier.

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